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The characters of Jonson cannot be defined like those of SHAKSPERB;

Which are not of an age, but of all times."

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They are such as only existed for the most part in his own—They speak in consequence a language deformed by affectation, and obscured by local allusion. Yet, so wonderful is the strength of this Hercules, that he may be stiled the great Historian of the Drama, and from his page is reflected the most pera fect image of the domestic manners of our Ancestors in the Sixteenth Century.

Our romantic Sires, as a worthy companion to their belief in the doctrine of Demons and Witches, believed in the transmutation of Metals, the Philosopher's Stone, and other conundrums of a similar nature ; to ridicule the latter folly, this admirable play was written.

If the Writer did not dread the undefined terrors of libel, he might venture to say, Jonson was too wise to attack the belief in Witchcraft, sanctioned by the learned ignorance of his Sovereign's sublime treatise entitled, Dæmonologia.

THE ARGUMENT.

T be sickness hot, a master quit for fear,
H is house in town, and left one servant tbere;
E ase bim corrupted, and gave means to know,
A cheater and bis punk; who, now brought low,
L eaving their narrow practice, were become
C oz’ners at large; and only wanting some
House to set up, with him they bere contract,
E ach for a share, and all begin to act.
Much company they draw, and much abuse,
I n casting figures, telling fortunes, news,
Selling of flies, flat bawd’ry, with the stone;
Till it, and they, and all, in fume are gone.

PROLOGUE.

FORTUNE, that favours fools, these two short hours We wish

away, both for your sakes and ours, Judging spectators; and desire in place, To the author justice, to ourselves but grace. Our scene is London, 'cause we would make 'known, No country's mirth is better than our own: No clime breeds better matter for your whore, Bawd, 'squire, impostor, many persons more, Whose manners, now callod humours, feed the stage; And which have still been subject for the rage

Or spleen of comic writers. Though this pen
Did never aim to grieve, but better men ;
Howe'er the

age

he lives in doth endure The vices that she breeds, above their cure. But when the wholesome remedies are sweet, And in their working, gain and profit meet, He hopes to find no spirit so much diseas’d, But will with such fair correctives be pleas'd : For here he doth not fear who can apply. If there be any that will sit so nigh Unto the stream, to look what it doth run, They shall find things, they'd think, or wish, were done; They are so natural follies, but so shown, As even the doers may see, and yet not own.

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Dramatis Personae.

DRUR Y - LANE.

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Men. SUBTLE, the Alchymist,

Mr. Aickin. Face, the Housekeeper,

Mr. Palmer. Sir EPICUR E MAMMON, Knight,

Mr. Chaplin.
ABEL DRUGGER, a Tobacco Man, Mr. Dodd.
SURLY, a Gamester,

Mr. Phillimore.
DAPPER, a Clerk,
KASTrill, the angry Boy,

Mr. Burton.
LOVEWIT, Master of the House,
TRIBULATION, ä Pastor of Amsterdam,
ANANIAS, a Deaton there,

Women.
Doi Common, Colleague with Subtle and
Face,

Mrs. Hopkins.
Dame PLIANT, a Widow, Sister to the
angry Boy,

Mrs. A. Palmer. Neighbours, Officers, &c.

Scene, London.

N. B. This Play never performed at Covent-Garden Theatre.

THE

ALCHYMIST.

ACT I. SCENE 1.

FACE, SUBTLE, and DOL COMMON.

Face.
Believe it, I will.

Sub. Do thy worst. I dare thee,
Face. Sirrah, I'll strip you out of all your sleights
Dol. Nay, look ye, sovereign, general, are you mad

men? Sub. O, let the wild sheep loose. I'll gum your silk With good strong water, an' you come.

Dol. Will you have The neighbours hear you? Will you betray all ? “ Hạrk, I hear somebody."

Face. Sirrah!

Sub I shall mar
All that the taylor has made, if you approach.

Face. You most notorious whelp, you insolent slave, Dare you

do this?

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